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Alaska CASC staff and partners used drones to survey damage to critical infrastructure from Typhoon Merbok in western Alaska.

In the fall of 2022, Typhoon Merbok devastated parts of western Alaska, where flooding and storm surge had damaged the infrastructure of coastal communities. To assist the United States Coast Guard’s efforts surveying impacts from the storm, the Alaska CASC Deputy Director Jessica Garron, Science Communicator and Drone Pilot Mike DeLue, and their partners used drones to assess damage to roadways, buildings, and other infrastructure.  

The team is using this data to create 2D and 3D maps of critical oil-bearing structures and assess hazardous spills that may have occurred because of the storm. The data from this response will be provided to the State of Alaska’s Open Data Portal so other communities and emergency response agencies can use this information in their recovery planning.  

The team’s work is a result of long-standing relationships with rural communities, Alaskan agencies, and collaborative disaster training and preparation efforts.

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